Will Matt den Dekker Just HIT ALREADY?!

By now I’m sure many of you heard of or have seen the catch Matt den Dekker made last night, robbing the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon of a Spring Home Run. We ebedded it in the Game Recap, but it’s so good that it is only justifiable to embed it once more, for those that have not seen it or clearly want to watch it again.

We have known for a while now that Matt den Dekker can seriously bring it in center field. As you can see by the jump and read he gets on the ball, the young man has Major League instincts out there. His offense, however, has been a step behind.

Year Age Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2010 22 Mets Rk 5 21 18 2 5 2 0 0 5 0 0 2 5 .278 .350 .389 .739 7
2010 22 Savannah A 27 114 104 21 36 13 0 0 15 3 0 9 28 .346 .404 .471 .875 49
2011 23 St. Lucie A+ 67 302 267 54 79 19 8 6 36 12 5 24 65 .296 .362 .494 .857 132
2011 23 Binghamton AA 72 314 272 49 64 13 3 11 32 12 5 27 91 .235 .312 .426 .738 116
2012 24 Binghamton AA 58 268 238 47 81 21 4 8 29 10 7 20 64 .340 .397 .563 .960 134
2012 24 Buffalo AAA 77 317 295 37 65 10 4 9 47 11 2 14 90 .220 .256 .373 .629 110
3 Seasons 306 1336 1194 210 330 78 19 34 164 48 19 96 343 .276 .336 .459 .795 548
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2013.

 

The one time he has had a bump-up in production after being promoted mid-year was when he joined Savannah from the Rookie League on the Gulf Coast in 2010. All other times, he takes a 2nd half and an offseason to adjust. If this pattern continues (which it should adding the Las Vegas factor to the mix), den Dekker should begin to figure it out a little more at age 25 and finally make the jump to the Majors at some point this year.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘s defense is very much above average but den Dekker is on another level. Though the pattern continuing would mean he would struggle at the Major League level, it’s safe to say that if den Dekker figures out how to hit Major League pitching, he immediately climbs to the top of the Center Field depth chart, considering how his defensive prowess gets better and better the more it is on display.

He added a single to his game last night, starting a 1-out rally that brought the Mets within a run in the Classic of a Spring Loss. With the way he struggled after his promotion to Buffalo, they will most likely send him out to Vegas no matter how out of his mind he might play this Spring. With it being the hitter’s paradise everyone says it is, it will be good for his confidence and his overall progression.

Plus, he can bring back a bunch of home runs for the pitchers we want to progress as well.

If den Dekker gets it together at the plate, thank God we didn’t sign Michael freakin’ Bourn.

 

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Topics: 2013 New York Mets, Center Field, Matt Den Dekker, Outfield, Spring Training

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